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Larger, adult stage deer ticks are back with a vengeance

Date: 9.15.2008

Tick

All ticks come in small, medium and large sizes, but autumn is the time that adult stage Blacklegged (aka deer) ticks become active. People often think that bugs, especially bloodsuckers like mosquitoes and ticks, are killed with the first hard frost of fall, but that is just what brings adult deer ticks out in abundance. In the northeastern United States, adult deer ticks are likely to be the most common tick you encounter from October to April. Male and female deer ticks look different from each other. This is important, because only the red and black female bites and sucks blood, while the entirely black male typically will latch on and crawl around looking for a female to mate with.

Be sure to check yourself daily after being outside in backyards bordering woods, small wood lots, forests, and other brush-covered landscapes. These larger-sized ticks usually latch on to your legs between your shins and buttocks...they crawl up under un-tucked shirts to find a warm attachment site. In most regions, one of every 2 female deer ticks is infected with the Lyme disease spirochete, so be sure to get the tick off safely within the first 48 hours by using pointy tweezers. If you are finding adult deer ticks around the yard, this also would be a good time to hire a professional tick control expert to do a perimeter spray. If you see adult deer ticks, then you certainly will have the harder-to-see nymphs next spring... so take the fall appearance of adult deer ticks as a warning, and plan now to take action!